A gorilla life cycle starts with a gestation period which takes about 8.5 weeks; a gorilla gestation period can be identified from swollen knuckles. Female mountain gorillas usually produce at night time and can produce any time of the year.
Gorillas have a very low birth rate, they produce after every four to six and only have 1-2 fertile days in a month. Once they conceive and give birth they will not mate again until the baby gorilla is 4-6 years, a female gorilla can produce only 2-6 off springs in a lifetime.
When a baby mountain gorilla is born, its called an infant and breastfeeds on the mothers milk until 3-4 years of age. The born weighing about 4 pounds and vulnerable, they start to sit up right and walk at 3-4 months from the time of birth the mother carries the baby until about 6 months where they can cling to their mothers back up to 4-6 years.
Infant male mountain gorillas can sometimes be killed when the leadership of the group changes or when the mother joins another group, this is done by a Silverback with fear of the young males growing and taking over the dominance. When an infant reaches 4-8 years, they are known as Juvenile gorillas, at this age they can do most of the activities independently but this doesn’t mean they are mature. They can weigh 60-70 kilograms during this age period.
At the age of 10-15 years, a gorilla will be considered as an adult and males become black backs, females reach sexual maturity by this age before the males. The male gorillas will continue to grow while the females might stop getting tall and only gain weight.
When male black backs start growing a grey patch of grayish hair on their backs, they will now become Silverbacks and this is the last stage of a gorilla cycle. At this age males stop growing and gaining weight. An average lifespan of a gorilla is 35-40 years of age.